November 13, 2013 | by Carolin C. Young | Lovers in the Upstairs Room of a Teahouse from Utamakaura (Poem of the Pillow) by Kitagawa Utamaro, c. 1788. Sheet from a color wood block-printed album. © Trustees of the British Museum.
Those seeking salacious content, accompanied by illuminating explanations, can explore the sexually explicit Shunga art of Japan in an exhibition also hosted by the British Museum, which carries a prominent warning that “parental guidance is advised for visitors under sixteen years.” Contrasting the social context of the genre with what would be considered pornography in Western culture, the show explores Shunga as a forum for humor and political commentary as well as for titillation with examples by masters such as Utamaro and Hokusai. Although Shunga was created by and for men, the exhibition examines the ways in which this art depicts and appealed to women. Organized under the auspices of Japan 400, a nationwide series of events celebrating four hundred years of Ja…» More
November 12, 2013 | The Bird Cage (for Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree) by Leighton, 1940. Wood engraving on paper. On view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Leighton was raised in England, where she was well known for her illustrations of classic books by authors such as Emily Brontë and Thomas Hardy and for her impressive writings and wood engravings about rural culture and preindustrial craft. She brought her arts and crafts sensibility (and her flair for social realism) to this country in 1939, living first in Maryland and North Carolina and later in New England, where she spent several years creating wood engravings for a set of plates depicting New England industries (whaling, gristmilling, cranberrying, and the like) issued by Wedgwood (See ANTIQUES, January/February 2011, or themagazineantiques.com/articles/leighton).
The show runs concurrently at the VMFA and at the University of Richmond's Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center. Taken together the material on view at…» More
November 12, 2013 | The Gallery, Chiswick House by William Henry Hunt (1790–1864), 1828. Watercolor. © Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth; reproduced by permission of the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.
The Bard Graduate Center (BGC) and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum are presenting another of their comprehensive examinations of a renowned and versatile English designer. William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, now at the BGC, and its accompanying gigantic catalogue reveal Kent’s genius through nearly 200 drawings for architecture, gardens, and sculpture, along with examples of his furniture, silver, paintings, and illustrated books.
Divided into ten sections, the exhibition introduces specific aspects of Kent’s work including private and royal commissions. The first section is devoted to his life and times. The second focuses on his formative years, when he made the Grand Tour of Italy and encountered the baroque fine and decorative arts that left a lasting impression on him, and whe…» More
November 12, 2013 | Portrait of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte [1785–1879] by Firmin Massot (1766–1849), 1823. Oil on canvas. Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore.
As the heroine of a novel, Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte might have suited Edith Wharton or possibly Henry James. We could also think of her as an early version of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Born in Baltimore, the oldest daughter of a wealthy shipping merchant, Elizabeth Patterson seems to have had her eye on the main chance from an early age. She was well educated, had a flair for wearing European fashions, and knew how to make herself into a fascinator. Eventually she captivated Jerome Bonaparte, the luxury loving brother of Napoleon, during his sojourn in America. Their marriage, opposed by both the future ruler of France and William Patterson, Elizabeth’s father, lasted only three years, but Elizabeth lived on the celebrity of it for the rest of her life. The long saga of her pursuit of an appropriate title for her…» More
November 12, 2013 | We at ANTIQUES are pleased that Gerald W. R. Ward has been named the first recipient of the Wendell D. Garrett Award by the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, which established the prize as a testament to the accomplishments of one of its most illustrious alumni—and the indelible voice of our magazine for more than forty years.
Like Wendell, Gerry has influenced a generation of graduate students and young professionals, most recently as a faculty member of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art program in American Fine and Decorative Art. “Through his work at Yale, Winterthur, Strawbery Banke, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gerry stands as a benchmark for excellence in American decorative arts and history, selflessly sharing his lightly-worn yet considerable knowledge with students and scholars from every discipline,” says Tom Savage, director of museum affairs at Winterthur.
Ward, who receives the award on November 9 at the Delaware Antiques Show, told us, “I always ma…» More
[Compiled by Claudia J. Nahson, Morris and Eva Feld Curator at the Jewish Museum, New York. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazin» View All